Reflections

She rode down the Centralbron every day, and each day was a reminder of him and what could have been. The towers and spires bore silent testament to their epic romance. But vicious words squelch even blazing passion.
She couldn’t recall what started it. All she knew was that they had reached the point of no return.

Time had not healed wounds and her heart still trembled like the shuddering reflections she passed every day.

She knew she deserved happiness. She deserved to move on free of him.

It was time to take another path.

100WW

Written for Bikugurl’s 100 Word Wednesday challenge based on photo by Matias Larhag.

Howl

Howling out at the moon
That’s what I’ll be doing soon
When my son is out of here
Off to make his own career
Empty nest is all that’s left
Yet I know its for the best
Even if it rips my heart
Having to live apart
Loving him means letting go
Got to go with destiny’s flow
I wish him well
I wish him flight
I wish him wisdom
I wish him light
I’ll watch him leave with so much pride
His father standing me beside
Together we created
Together we let go
He’ll make us proud
That much we know
The excitement to soar is in his eyes now
Of that I’m certain even though I don’t know how

 

Linda’s Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “how”, and since she did ask us to ‘Enjoy’ I decided to try something different and write a poem. Being a stream, with only pauses to think up silly rhyming words, its a bit corny, but I did have fun. And how!
Thanks Linda.

My beautiful

100ww

The picture beckons me. A beautiful wooden cottage sequestered in a tranquil forest, lulled by the rhythm of a serene lake.

I imagine awaking to the chirping of birds, fresh breeze and sunlight. The perfectly stimulating ambience for a writer.

Then I start wondering how much bug spray I would have to carry, would I have cellular reception, and how long to get to the nearest emergency room.

Years of being a parent and caregiver have altered me irrevocably.

A chair screeches. It is my son helping his grandmother to her room, her aging stoop supported by his youthful arm.

I behold the beauty of life having come full circle within my very urban home.

Looking away from the cottage, I smile. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

 


Written for 100 Word Wednesday’s photo prompt by Olivier Guillard.
Unfortunately I have overshot the word limit a bit 🙂 

Another good morning

Chores are done and the kid off to school
I sit down with hot coffee my mind to cool
But the sip freezes at the unused plate
I wonder if perhaps it isn’t too late
Once again the familiar trepidation
I push open her door with anxious hesitation
Step in and softly whisper out, “mum?”

I keep on staring feeling a light pain in my chest
Watch for the rhythmic rise and fall of her breast
Wait for the murmuring cadence of her snore
My heart at ease I step out the door
The aroma of coffee does once more beckon
But first I send a quick thank up to heaven

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Dream with a pinch of reality

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become, your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be.
-James Allen

I have heard a lot of parents and inspirational speakers reiterate this quote. Child psychologists keep harping on how we should always encourage our children; shower them with praise, set high expectations because children usually perform up to their parent’s expectations. Tell your children that they can be whatever they want. But I don’t agree with this thought entirely.

I would rather tell my child

You can achieve anything you want in life if you have the courage to dream it, the intelligence to make a realistic plan, and the will to see that plan through to the end.

It is good to dream lofty dreams, just as long as those dreams are grounded in reality. It is necessary to encourage you child, ‘encourage’ being the operative word. Don’t give them false hopes. Praise your child, compliment her work but don’t inflate her ego.

We bring up our children on stories with happy endings, where anything is possible, where a little fish called Nemo, despite his limited swimming abilities, manages to have a series of adventures/misadventures and return home safely, where the rookie car Lightning McQueen, the crop-duster plane Dusty, and the snail Turbo win the race (defeating faster and more experienced competitors by sheer grit), where the princess always gets the prince.

Children, brought up in a feel-good world, imagine they can be anything – an astronaut, a scientist, an Olympian, a film star. The next Steve Jobs or Ambani. That’s natural and that’s nice. But as parents do we merely humour them and say – “of course, you can be anything you want.” I think not. I would rather say, “Well that sounds great. But remember, achieving a dream is hard work. You must plan and work towards it.”

When he was very young, my son wanted to become either a Formula 1 racer or a fighter pilot. I had to gently break the news to him that with his ocular problems, that was not a realistic dream. Naturally he ranted at the injustice of it all, but soon directed himself towards becoming a nuclear scientist, a more plausible dream. With this dream as our goal, we sat down and drew up a road map, he had to excel at math and science, he had to develop certain skills, etc. Along the way he lost interest in becoming a nuclear scientist, but his love for science remained. He worked hard and excelled. Today he can certainly aspire to become a scientist.
Of course his father would have rather he became an athlete. We tried out a different sport every summer trying to find ‘his thing’. He enjoyed his summers, but eventually his father had to concede that sport was not ‘his thing’. As a parent he had to accept his child’s temperament and cease projecting his own dreams onto the child. Just because he loves playing soccer with his friends after school does not mean that he could have become a national player by sheer hard work and grit. Talent, genetics and temperament play a decisive role.

The dangers of blind encouragement are two-fold. Unrealistic plans lead to a waste of time and money. When a student who gets average grades sets her mind on say, medical school, other more lucrative and realistic careers like human resource management or business, are left unexplored. Even worse, if they don’t achieve their goal, they feel shame and guild and are overwrought with a feeling on incompetence. The logic goes – If I could have become anything, and I didn’t become that thing, then I have no one to blame but myself, and I am a shameful loser. Anything else that they do thereafter is a compromise and they are never happy.

Help your child understand what will make them happy and help them pursue that state of being. There are many paths to that goal. Tell them that they don’t need to chase after a ‘job they love’, rather find a job that they can grow to love. Not everyone can make a career out of what they love. It’s just as well to have a career you can respect and a hobby that you love. The eventual goal is self-happiness.

Encourage your child to have lofty goals, but let them know that in addition to self-belief, it’s going to take sensible planning, a pragmatic approach, years of hard work and a lot of patience. Teach them that there is no such thing as instant gratification and that failure and work-arounds are an inevitable part of the journey. Above all else help them understand themselves.

It may be painful to be the practical dream-crusher parent who bursts their child’s happy bubble, but it will be far more painful to watch your child loose her self-esteem, because as adults we know – We cannot become anything that we want to be.

The Very Real Big Foot Problem

He hates shopping. Most of all he hates shoe shopping. He takes exception to the fact that they don’t have “white canvas school shoes” in his size. A year back it was ‘difficult’ but now that he’s a size 12 it’s become ‘impossible’.
The school regulations state white canvas Bata shoes. Bata state that their school shoes only go up to size 10. Predicament.

When did he get so big? I still have his first pair of booties, tiny little things, barely the length of my middle finger, and believe me I don’t have a long slender artistic finger. I stand tall at five feet nothing and my stubby fingers are commiserate with my size. Even when he became my big boy and started school, his shoes were the size of my palm. Then for the longest of time they were just a hand span. O, by the way, if you are marveling at my memory, then don’t. I actually have a little collection of his shoes boxed carefully in the attic. When it comes to baby shoe memorabilia, call me Mama Marcos. Now even I know that displaying them out would be too much, but knowing that when the bird has flown and the nest is empty, I can always visit the shoes, is great solace. Except for the very comfortable grade 7 shoes, I actually used them for my morning walks. Being sentimental does not mean one isn’t thrifty. During the Model United Nations in grade 9, he looked so handsome squeezed into his father’s formal shoes.
But then something inexplicable happened and by grade 10 he was Big Foot.

The patriarch Mr Knowitall attributes it to the Crocs that encouraged the feet to expand unfettered. Had we known what we now know back then, we could have bound his feet and kept them tiny. But the young man doesn’t agree. It is his opinion that after being suffocated all day, his sensitive feet need the breather that the Crocs afford them. As owner of aforementioned feet, he gets to take the final call.

We are all still staring at said huge feet when he turns towards me and whines, “Why mum? Why do I have such abnormally large feet? It’s not fair.” In that instant there is no mistaking him for anything but the boy that he is, the boy who has my heart firmly tucked in his tiny pocket.
Don’t worry baby. Adidas will surely have your size.

To market…To market…To buy a big shoe…

bigshoes

image source http://www.adweek.com/fishbowldc/files/2011/08/bigshoes.jpg


Tiny

Volunesia

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The most beautiful sight in the world is to see a room full of children smiling. The most beautiful feeling in the world is the knowledge that you helped put it there.

Every time I enter the dormitory I get to see something new and crazy. They climb walls, swim on concrete, watch television in elaborate puppy piles, and play ball like it were the final match of the rugby season.
But no matter what they are doing, it takes just one lithe spy to shout out one magical word – “Aunty”.
Everything stops and all thirty pairs of eyes zero in on me.
They are a force of nature, born to love, like a hurricane they descend upon me, ripping out everything that is rotten in my heart so that the seed of their love has solid footing to grow all-encompassing. Like touch-seeking missiles, they drawn me into a whirlwind of enthusiastic hand-shakes, ebullient high-fives, affectionate hugs, and if they can’t get to me they will at least grab at my clothes or bag. In that moment I’m like a celebrity (without even having had to starve to get the figure of one…hah).

Life can’t be perfect but some moments can.

Like every garden, this one too had it’s roses and it’s thorns, but there nothing artificial here, and there is great beauty even in nature’s asymmetry.
Getting them to settle down is a challenge in itself. One moment they are fighting and clawing at each other, the very next they are laughing like they just heard the world’s funniest joke. They go from crying like it’s the end of the world to grinning like they received first prize, and all with just one turn of the head, or giving of a toy.
I’m not saying they are angels or even that I get to accomplish very much with them. What I am trying to point out is that they have the gift to find happiness in the smallest and most random of things. They makes me realise how simple it is to be happy.

volunesia

I came here with the delusions of changing lives, and now realise that it is I who has changed.


Volunteer

A peep underground into my memories

In 2010 my father planned a very decisive trip – to introduce his daughter and grandson to his boyhood. Armed only with the desire to go wherever memory took him, we took a trip down the rabbit hole and found Neverland.

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↑ The seaside town of Bhimli where he was born

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↑ The school where the child became a young lad.

It was a Sunday, but the security guard was so amazed to meet such an old ex-student that he opened up the gates for us.

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↑ The Vizak docs that spawned the dream of joining the navy

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Nah! He never went in a submarine. Just showed the grandson one.
This one’s to justify posting with today’s word prompt  😉

We also decided to explore Araku where his father had been posted briefly.
Nestled in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku valley are one of the largest caves of the Indian subcontinent called the Borra Caves. Carved out by the river Gosthani over a million years ago, these limestone caves are spectacularly known for their stalactite and stalagmite formations.

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I miss you daddy. Thank you for leaving me with the strength of memories.

If tears could build a stairway
And memories were a lane
I would walk right up to heaven
And bring you back again.

  • -Anonymous

Prompt:
Underground, Mixing Media

El Condor Pasa

“El Condor Pasa (If I Could)”

I’d rather be a torch than a candle
Yes, I would
If I could
I surely would

I’d rather set aflame than melt away
Yes, I would
If I only could
I surely would

Away, I’d rather die away
Like a blaze of light that’s here and gone
A candle gets burnt down to the ground
She gives the world its saddest sound
It’s saddest sound

I’d rather be an adventure than a prayer
Yes, I would
If I could
I surely would

I’d rather feel you hold on till the very end
Yes, I would
If I only could
I surely would

(My version. Excuse me Simon & Garfunkel)

I see the romance in a candle, the heroism of spreading light even at the cost of yourself, even with your dying breath. The subtle beauty of diffused light soothes one even in the dark. The colours, rhythm and dance of a flickering flame. There is breathtaking passion in melting wax running down like lost tears in the moonlight. Love and sorrow, the twins… first the love, fragrant and strong, then the sorrow of dying embers bidding a final farewell. It is for this that we offer them at the altars of gods.
I see the beauty in a candle.

But I’d rather be torchlight.

Bright. Practical. Not somebody who will give herself up just to light up your world. Don’t romanticize me at altars; take me on your adventures. Hold me in your hand, heck fix me on your head, but don’t leave me burning on the side. Always be aware that I exist. Through tempest or rain, I will not flicker, I will not surrender.
And when our adventure is done, when I go out in a blaze of glory, just change my batteries and let’s illuminate the world again.


Candle

Shattered

Shattered promises
Slivers of glass
Distorted reflection
Contorted life
Callous words
Hope’s debris
Piercing Cutting Bleeding
Stains where I tread
Aching memories
Cancer in my soul
Last straw
Final nail
Desolate exhale
Veiled in Shroud
Smile of death
Shattered promises
Slivers of trust


Promises